Dinhata (West Bengal), Aug 1: There were celebrations as people rejoiced as India and Bangladesh exchanged enclaves at the stroke of midnight on Friday-Saturday and ending the 68 years of stateless existence for over 51,000 enclave dwellers. People came out of their houses, burst crackers and hugged each other as part of the celebrations. Everyone was extremely happy and had a shine in their eyes. The Bangladeshi enclaves are now a part of India, and the Indian enclaves have joined Bangladesh.
A documentary was also made marking the occasion. Approximately 14,000 people living in 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in the Indian territory, and another 37,000 residing in 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh, now can say that they have a country of their own. At the stroke of midnight, the Bharat Bangladesh Enclave Exchange Co-ordination Committee (BBEECC) the organisation that fought for the rights of the enclave dwellers also celebrated the occasion in Mosaldanga enclave of West Bengal's Cooch Behar district.
The 111 Indian enclaves are located in the Bangladesh districts of Lalmonirhat (59), Panchagarh (36), Kurigram 12 and Nilphamari (4) while all the 51 Bangladeshi enclaves are situated in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal.
The LBA was first formed in 1974 by Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi.